Saturday, December 26, 2009

I AM...


A new year = a new lease on life.

I am going to really make some change, particularly with my diet.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lunch.... Today

So I am going to whip up my third vegan recipe of the week today - Artichoke Salad Parfaits from the cookbook Vegan Planet. I am trying these out not only because they look extra tasty, but I think this is something I am serve at a dinner party in a nice tall martini glass.

The ingredients are as follows:

1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons baslsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced basil leaves or 1/2 teasoon dry
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 small carrot grated
1 small red bell pepper seeded and chopped
Romaine lettuce cut into thin strips
One 9-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts lightly toasted
4 pitted kalamata olives

1. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, salt and pepper, whisking until blended. Set aside.

2. Place the cucumber, carrot, and bell pepper in seperate small bowls and drizzle a little dressing on each. Toss to coat.

3. Arrange the salad ingredients in layers in 4 glasses, beginning with a layer of romaine lettuce, followed by bell pepper, cucumber, carrot, and artichoke hearts, adding more lettuce if there is room in the glass.

4. Drizzle with a little of the remaining dressing, top each salad with pine nuts and oil and serve.

I hope this turns out well and completely mishap free.

Rave Reviews....

The cookies were a hit. Not only did I feed them to the fiance but also on of his friends too - they said it was one of the best chocolate chip cookies they had ever tasted. . . SCORE!

Here is a picture of thee finished product:

Also, yesterday, I had a completed vegan day. For lunch I had an Amy's Buritto and hummus with some Wasa Crackers. yummy.

For dinner I had pasta with some olive oil and garlic and a nice glass of organic red wine.

In my next post I will describe my next vegan meal... Artichoke "Parfaits"

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mission Impossible: Cookies

So I hope that I don't screw this one up because my fiance is somewhat of a cookie connoisseur. I found this lovely recipe for Happy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies on VegWeb and I am so excited to whip some up this afternoon. I have made vegan chocolate chip cookies before with some success from "Skinny Bitch in the Kitch" and I am excited to try another recipe.

The recipe is as follows:

Happy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients (use vegan versions):

2 cups unbleached flour

2 tsps baking powder

1/2 tsp.salt

cinnamon to taste (optional)

vegan chocolate or carob chips - put in as many as you like

1 cup raw sugar (turbinado #1, sucanat works too but sucks up a lot of the moisture)

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup water

Directions:VERY IMPORTANT-make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. It will work if they're not at room temp but it works MUCH better if they are. Also while your oven is pre-heating put the cookie sheets you are going to use on top of the oven so they get preheated as well.

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon (if you choose).

Add chips.

Make a well in the center and set aside.I

n a medium size bowl mix vegan sugar and oil.

Mix it well.

Add the vanilla and then add the water.

Mix it well.

Add the wet to the well in the dry.

Mix it well but be careful not to overwork it.

Add more chips if you need to.

Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Put them in the oven.

Bake for 5 minutes and then flip and rotate the sheets.(top to bottom,and 180 degree rotation) Bake another 4 minutes and check them.

The cookies are done when they seem a little bit softer then you want them to be.

They will harden up some as they cool. I usually go in two minute increments from here until they get to where I like them.

Take them out when they are done and move them to wire cooling racks.

If they split or come apart when you try to remove them let them sit on the pan for 2 minutes before transferring them to the racks.These cookies have come a long way, lots of time and tasting spent on getting them to where they are now.

Vegans and non vegans LOVE them.

In the words of my 6 year old son-Mom, you're the greatest because you know how to make the best cookies. Enjoy and let me know if you have questions. Sweet travels.

Serves: almost two dozen Preparation time: 15 min-10 to 12 cooking time

Yummmmmmy, I can't wait.

Food Porn

I spend a good chunk of my life on Flickr, either uploading pictures or searching others. Recently, I have really enjoyed searching for vegan food, and found a plethora of yummy looking dishes that I know I am not skilled enough to make (yet) but love to dream about. Sharon Morrow also known as massdistration on Flickr has beautiful shots of yummy vegan food, both prepared by her or store bought. She is a longtime vegan, photographer, and all around talented woman. She also has a photo blog which is well worth your time to check out. Below are some of her beautiful pictures and TASTY looking food, it makes me salivate just looking at them.


I did it!

After some mishaps in the kitchen surrounding my vegan chili mac, I finally fed it the fiance and he had NO idea that it was vegan. He in fact called it tasty, and took some to lunch today. Let me backtrack for a bit though and tell the cooking portion because at one point I thought I was going to have to scrap the dish and order pizza.

I went to the store around 4:00 yesterday knowing that I have about 30 minutes to get all my items and scurry home before the fiance returned from work. Normally, I would not worry about it, but I did not want him to see the large amounts of fake cheese and milk I was carting in the house because then he would know that something was up. I grabbed EVERYTHING I needed except for 1 onion. This is a key component to the dish so when I started cooking I had to improvise and threw in a bunch of garlic instead. The recipe then called for two cups of soy milk. I reached into my fridge and pulled out (GASP) VANILLA soy milk, not the most ideal for a chili mac recipe. By that time the fiance was home so there was no way I could send him out for plain soy milk, so I just added the vanilla and decided to double the cayenne pepper to neutralize the sweetness. In the end, after some extra soy cheese, it turned out well, but I need to pay more attention when shopping. I don't normally buy vegan food, so when I am haphazardly grabbing for items I should make sure they are exactly what I need.

Right now I am enjoying my SECOND vegan meal of the week - O'Soy Peach Yogurt for Breakfast & Coffee with Vanilla Soy Milk. Yum.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tonight....Chili-Macaroni Bake

I might sound cruel, but I am planning to fool my fiance into eating vegan food. By making tasty food, with alternative meat and dairy, I am hoping I can fool him into eating (and loving) my vegan cooking. I know it is not the most honest thing to do, but I will tell him after he finishes his plate, I promise.

Tonight I am making Chili-Macaroni Bake from "Vegan Plant: 400 Irresistible Recipes with Fantastic Flavors from Home and Around the World". I have pilates tonight, so this is something simple I can make up quickly and throw in the oven. I am not sure if he is going to be on to my as Vegan Cheese is notorious for melting oddly (or not at all) but hopefully, he will be enamored with the taste that he won't notice.

The recipe is as follows:

12 ounces elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups soy milk or other dairy free milk heated
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup shreaded vegan cheddar cheese
2 cups vegetarian chilli

1. Cook the elbows in a bot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside. Preheat over to 375 degrees F.

2. Heat the olive oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and slowly whisk in the soy milk. Continue to cook stirring, until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Add the salt and cayenne.

3. In a large bowl, combine the sauce, pasta and a 1/2 cup of vegan cheese. Spoon into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and spread chili on top. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese over the chili and bake until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes.